Being authentic and adapting, these two are the requirements that Johann Bondu, global head of marketing at Dockers, defends to build a brand. The manager, who took over from him two months ago, is managing the rebranding who started the company three years ago. “Our challenge is to rejuvenate the brand, but tell the same story”, defends Bondu. Passionate about motorcycles, music and Puma, where he worked for fifteen years, the executive recognizes that it is essential to “adapt to the new generations and to the world in order to evolve”.
Question: Dockers has been immersed in a rebranding. Has it finished yet?
Answer: We’re on that. Three years ago we undertook the project to reconvert the brand to focus more on the casual wear and that our products are affordable for everyone. Our challenge is about rejuvenating the brand, but telling the same story.
Q: Two years ago, the majority of Dockers users were over 50 years old. Now 20% are under 24 years of age. Is it essential to connect with the new generations to generate brand value?
R.: Yes, but our goal is also to keep our consumer base loyal, although it is important to attract young people. That is why we have signed agreements with younger ambassadors. In the end, the key is to be authentic.
Q.: Does the Silicon Valley entrepreneur continue to be the most cool at work?
R.: The most innovative and creative people in the world come from there. Although, when we talk about California, Europeans think only of beach and surf, but there is much more. We have to try to be authentic wherever we come from.
“We have to adapt to the world and to the new generations in order to evolve”
Q.: How do you make work clothes when people no longer go to the office to work?
R.: It is true that you can have easier conversations at the coffee machine than by video call, but we have to adapt to the world and the new generations to evolve. With the right people and communication you can do anything.
Q.: Fashion has become even more casual with the pandemic. Are chino pants still in style?
R.: I dare not say what is fashionable and what is not, because everyone has a different point of view. I think that chino pants are a very important piece in the men’s wardrobe, although it depends on the person who wears them. What I like about this type of garment is that they can be worn by many people from different sectors and that they reflect a different image, because they adapt to each one’s style.
Q.: Can the same values be transferred to consumers around the world or do we have to segment the communication?
R.: The important thing is to respect the cultural identity of each country and each territory. For example, in Latin America and Europe they have a very different style from ours and we have to adapt. It is also important that our identity is global, even if it is adapted to each region. The key is to have a balance between being global and local.
Q.: You have worked in companies such as Adidas, Puma or Fox Racing. Does sports fashion have an advantage when it comes to creating a brand?
R.: I learned a lot while at Puma, it was a very important part of my life. The power of these types of companies is that they can always reinvent themselves. When I joined Puma in 2001, the brand was totally different, another story.
“Spanish companies like Zara are leading the business in many ways”
Q.: What brand is your reference?
R.: I have a special affection for Puma because it was part of my life for fifteen years. But I also like niche brands from other sectors such as motorcycles, music or photography. I try to be curious and get inspired by what others are doing.
Q.: What can Spanish companies learn from brands from other countries?
R.: Spanish companies like Zara are leading the business in many ways. In the end, it doesn’t matter where they come from, if the identity is strong, you can be successful.
Q.: And the fashion of other sectors?
R.: I don’t know if fashion has to think about other sectors, but the important thing is to be open and attract more consumers, especially if they are different, because that is how the brand is enriched. Tech companies are always first in brand rankings because they lead the world we live in, which is on the move.
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